Memorial Day weekend events this year had me criss-crossing Rockland County, both driving and walking local roads that took a beating from a particularly harsh winter season. Thanks to our dedicated County Highway crews, I am pleased to report that our pothole-pocked streets are getting smoother each day. In the weeks to come, be on the lookout for even more orange cones and more steamrollers as we move our paving program into high gear.
Asphalt milling and paving is underway to repair rough and damaged roads from Stony Point to Suffern. Our mill and pave program uses a process in which an inch or two of blacktop is removed from the surface, then a layer of new blacktop is added and rolled out. This allows all of the curbs to remain at their existing height, the drainage plan remains the same and the dips and bumps are flattened out.
We’ve used the mill and pave technique this month to resurface Collyer Avenue in New City, Strawtown Road in West Nyack and Gate Hill Road in Stony Point. Watch for more milling and paving projects along Short Clove Road in Haverstraw, Lake Road in Congers, Central Avenue in Pearl River, Veterans Memorial Drive in Orangetown and Red Schoolhouse and Viola Roads in Ramapo.
Our County highway workers are also involved in a cost-effective and environmentally-friendly repaving process called Hot In-Place. This method rehabilitates deteriorated asphalt pavements on-site with specialized recycling equipment that heats, removes, rejuvenates and relays the blacktop without the purchase of new materials. You will see Hot In-Place work this spring and summer in Haverstraw on Suffern Lane and Willow Grove Road, on Washburns Lane, Thiells and Bulsontown Roads in Stony Point and on Sickletown and Greenbush Roads in Orangetown.
Ever heard of micro-surface paving? It’s yet another method the County is using to rejuvenate our roads this season. If your street receives a micro-surface paving, it will get a mixture of polymer-modified asphalt emulsion, mineral aggregates, water and additives. This “quick set” preventive maintenance treatment extends the life of the road surface in an economical way. Look for micro-surfacing projects on Torne Valley Road in Ramapo, Old Nyack Turnpike in Nanuet and Western Highway in Orangetown.
Finally, several local roads with get “chip sealing” treatment. In short, this involves dropping oil and loose stone onto the existing roadbed. While it’s dusty and noisy for local residents and motorists alike, it’s still one of the most effective methods to extend pavement life and provide a good driving surface for future years. Mott Farm Road in Stony Point, Railroad Avenue in Haverstraw and Old Route 304 in New City are on the short list to get chip sealed.
With more than 20 miles of repaving already ongoing, along with major bridge repairs on Oak Tree Road in Tappan, Waldron Terrace in Sloatsburg, Montebello Road in Ramapo and Samsondale Avenue in West Haverstraw, our hard-working highway crews and contractors are busier than ever. Preventive road maintenance saves tax dollars. Over the long-term, it’s less expensive to maintain the road surface than to reconstruct it when it fails.
Under the skilled leadership of County Highway Superintendent Skip Vezzetti, we are developing shared services arrangements with local towns, villages and Bergen County to help deliver services more efficiently. The municipal highway function is expensive and will achieve cost savings through collaboration involving personnel, vehicles, equipment and facilities.
The rehabilitation of our roadways will provide safer, more efficient travel and enhance the driving experience for local residents, businesses and visitors alike. While we recognize that road work may cause some short-term inconvenience, please know that the result will help to improve the County’s quality of life and boost our economic engine. Rockland County residents – and, our cars – deserve high-quality infrastructure!